Short Stories

My Fantasy Story – Part 17 – The Memory of a Mother.

Some of you may have picked up on the fact that I didn’t post my Sunday afternoon/evening’s scheduled instalment of my Fantasy story…..

Well better late than never, here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Seventeen – The Memory of a Mother

The council, or great assembly, turned to the more mundane matters of the day-to-day running of the Red Magehood’s enormous Empire and the people under their protection. Meanwhile, a speeded courier arrived at the southern gate. Night had fallen and so the great gates to the City of Solarys had been closed and locked. The courier handed a golden disc to the Gatekeeper who examined it closely. The keeper then commanded the gates be opened and the courier rode on through the deserted streets of Solarys, the Citadel of the Sun. The courier headed northwards towards the Fortress of the Red Magehood on the great fire mountain that overlooked the city. Most of the city was built on the flat plateau lavas that had once poured from the volcano long before the area became inhabited. The Fire Mountain itself had been dormant for over a thousand years, but it remained an important feature in the life of its citizens providing hot water springs and creating an inexhaustible energy supply for the city. The courier arrived at the gates of the fortress and flashed his gold disc once more. Within moments he was ushered into the great chamber. He had orders that this letter could only be surrendered into the hands of either Sorceress Magda Rubicunda or those of the High Sorcerer himself. It was a message of the greatest importance.

As the courier made his way through the throng of Mages in their grand robes towards the commanding figure of the Sorceress who was the preferred target of his message the High Sorcerer rose from his Dragon Throne and spoke in a voice dripping with command.

“Bring that message to me.” The courier was compelled to obey.

Tiberius Dinantius began reading the message slowly and carefully to himself. The whole chamber, which had been murmuring and chattering, fell into a morbid and melancholic silence. The kind of silence that seemed incredibly loud and heavy.

Eventually the High Sorcerer broke that bonecrushing silence.

“It seems your trustworthy source in Argor had some more interesting news for us Magda. The High-Mage Angstrom writes that another person has come to him for teaching. This new apprentice also has an amazing potential but one that has already begun to manifest. She has remarkable talents apparently. It is non other than the Governor or Argor’s daughter herself. Her name is Lara Boadrah and it appears her birth date coincides with the date of the prophecy precisely.”

The deafening silence was replaced by an eruption of sound. A whisper creates a cacophony of sound when multiplied by practically every person within that chamber.

A small woman stood up from one of the Sorcerer thrones. Sorceress Rachella Ashe may have been a diminutive figure but she had a presence that far exceeded her stature. Her flame red hair and flashing bright green eyes proclaimed her magical abilities and her connection to the Fay-folk, those legendary fairy beings who, through interbreeding with humans, had died out. The Fay-folk’s genetics lived on among Mage circles and it was apparent that their blood flowed strongly within this woman’s veins. She was the Sorcerer in charge of the Healers and was renown for her toughness and courage. She often personally led an army of Healers through battlefields in order to prevent innocent civilians being harmed. Her voice, a crystal clear, high-toned soprano, rang out across the chamber.

“I knew Lara’s mother. She was a very powerful Mage, a healer of both body and mind.  She was sent to lead an expedition to Re’aldorin at the time of that gruesome civil war. She went to the City of Argor to help stabilise that region and she fell in Love with a minor noble who had been trying to restore order. She married him. That man became the Governor after the old regime was toppled. Lara was born shortly afterwards but unfortunately her Mother died before she’d even turned one years old. Her name was Soraya and she was a very dear friend of mine, the memory of her is still strong. She has a sister who is also in my order, Leandra Etanrys. It may be necessary to send her to Argor to bring this girl here for formal training and education. I believe she knows little about her heritage. She may, or may not be the Child of Prophecy but either way she will be a great asset to us. She should be here so we can guide and support her. ”

The High Sorcerer interjected “Unfortunately, Rachella, Angstrom writes that her father despaired of her desire to become a Mage and has sent her away to the District of Albana, where I am sure you know, Magic is forbidden on pain of death. I don’t have to remind you of the so-called Keepers of Peace? They can trace and capture Mages, rendering their powers useless. How many of our brothers and sisters were tortured and murdered at their hands during that terrible conflict? How many since that Red Army took over that Land? No, I believe we must have a more subtle operation. I agree we must send someone to fetch her here, someone with tremendous talents for disguise and subterfuge. Sorcerer Ixtar, I believe you have the right skills we need, are you willing to undertake this crucial operation personally?”

Markus Ixtar was the Red Magehood’s Spymaster-General. He controlled a vast network of spies and operatives. Born a mute, he was incapable of direct speech but he could communicate using telepathy and, of course, his Aura of light. Markus Ixtar stood and bowed to the assembly and his telepathic voice echoed around the chamber stating that he would be happy to carry out this delicate operation. His aura indicated he was eager to do so.

End of Part Seventeen

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/July/2018

FOWC with Fandango — Memory

 

 

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The Start of It – A short story, with familiar characters.

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/abundant/

Abundant

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/your-daily-word-prompt-redolent-july-11th-2018/

Redolent

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/three-things-challenge-11-july-2018/

Today’s things are: admire, loyal, fireplace

The Start of It.

Audrey Patterson hated wearing black. It was such an unbecoming colour, especially on the old. When she was younger, then it had looked fine on her tall frame, with diamonds sparkling around her neck. That had been during the Roaring twenties and she had been young enough to get away with it. Now black made her old pale skin look even older. She’d had to wear these dreary clothes though. It didn’t do to wear any other colour at a funeral, especially one of an old friend like Claudia Halifax. People would think she was being callous if she’d worn a brighter colour.

She was very sad to lose her friend. Although Claudia was younger than her and had lived a more carefree existence with her entourage of young men she liked to keep about her, she had admired her a lot.

Continue reading The Start of It – A short story, with familiar characters.

50 Word Thursday #8 – Resolution and Vocation

Debbie Whittam has set a challenge to write a poem or story in 50 words, or multiples of 50 up to a maximum of 250 words, inspired by a picture and include some particular lines. Here is the picture.

 

05-07-18

From Terry Brooks The Elfstones of Shannara

This story uses the Character of Miss Huntley, who I created in an early story, see here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/the-toad-and-the-tigress-a-short-story/

Here we see Miss Huntley as a young girl, receiving an experience that set her off on her future course…..

Here is my story:

Resolution and Vocation

Mr Gladding sat at the front of the class looking through his spectacles at the girls all writing away at their own desks. The scratching of the pens was a sound so familiar to him, as was the smell of those old oak desks and the chalk hanging in the air. He was an educator of the traditional Victorian mould.

Elizabeth Huntley put down her quill and sat quietly. Mr Gladding, or Cladding as the girls called him due to the substantial amount of insulation that he carried around his middle, was staring at her again.

Mr Gladding straightened the papers he had been marking.

Then he pushed himself back from the reading table at which he had been seated and rubbed his eyes wearily.

“Pens down girls. I wish to ask you something. What did I ask you to prepare for me to mark?”

Several hands went up.

“Yes, Miss Finchley?” Mr Gladding smiled, though his smiles were just a show of his teeth, like that of a wolf.

“You asked us to write an essay on the War of the Roses Sir.”

“Quite right. Why then, Miss Huntley, have you written me a Sonnet?”

Elizabeth Huntley froze. She had been overcome by the story of the princes in the tower and had written a Sonnet about their plight.

“For not following my orders, come here.” Cladding commanded, raising his metal ruler.

Elizabeth Huntley resolved one day she’ll become a teacher and she would never punish a child’s creativity.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 05/July/2018

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/50-word-thursday-8/comment-page-1/#comment-5078

 

Introducing a Lady – Short story.

This is for the word prompt: INTRODUCE

see here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/word-prompt-introduce/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/

and also the Word Prompt: MIRROR

FOWC with Fandango — Mirror

and also the Word Prompt: DREAM

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/a-new-daily-post-word-prompt-june-13th-2018-word-dream/

This story also teams up two characters that I created in a previous collection of stories I wrote called Death of a Notable.

See here for the first one if you want to read more:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/death-of-a-notable-a-murder-mystery/

Audrey Patterson arrived at the Dorchester and presented her invitation to the military looking gentleman at the door. 

As the entered she couldn’t help but stop to check her appearance in the large mirror.

She was wearing one of Dior’s new look gowns, a flowing but suitably demure concoction in dark plum. It was similar to something Princess Margaret had worn a few months ago for the Debutante’s ball but being much younger, hers had been off the shoulder. Audrey was getting too old to kid herself that an off the shoulder gown would suit her tall and willowy frame. She had now passed the mark of sixty and though she wasn’t one to dwell on age, she had to make a few concessions to it. 

This was a private function given by the American embassy for people who had helped the war effort. She herself hadn’t been much use, but her husband had been one of the top scientists working for the British government and it was in his honour that she had been invited. He had been knighted in the Kings honours list but both he and the king died the following year. Now she was left with the title of Lady and her memories of her dear, devoted and loving husband. She still would dream of him, quite frequently although it had been three years now since his death. 

Continue reading Introducing a Lady – Short story.

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Five

This is a part of a longer story that I have been writing over the last few weeks. 

See here for the last part of the story, which also contains links to all the others, if you want to read more:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-four/

Part Five

The next day Pablo woke early. The sun was just coming up over the horizon, its light slowly ebbing into the dark night sky, hiding all its stars and turning it blue and getting brighter and brighter towards the east.

He put a small pack together, a change of clothes and a few simple belongings, he didn’t own much. He also put on the silver St Christopher charm necklace that his mother had given him. He didn’t usually wear it as the memories of his mother filled him with that longing for her touch that would never come. It was a charm to protect travellers and he was going with his Uncle Carlos to the City of Valencia. Likely, he would need its protection now.

Quietly he went down the ladder to the main parlour. It was the main room of the house which was a kitchen, dining room and living area all rolled into one. His father’s bedroom was the other room on this level and upstairs was a room for his Aunt and his own little room.

His Aunt was already up and making breakfast. She looked at him with sad eyes.

“So you are still determined to go are you? Pablo, your Father loves you, he just doesn’t realise it. We need each other. You should stay.”

“I love you Aunt, and I suppose I love my Father too. I am fifteen years old. That is old enough for my Father to realise whether he loves me or not. I am not going to stay here cringing like some cur waiting for his affection. This is an opportunity to become a man and I mean to take it.”

“Your Uncle Carlos is not to be trusted. Remember that. I love him, he is my brother, but he is not to be trusted.”

The door to his Father bedroom opened and his Father came out. He looked like he hadn’t slept much, his greying hair was messy and the undershirt he wore needed a wash.

“So you’re off are you?” His father said gruffly. There were no tears in his eyes.
Pablo remembered one of his Grandmothers favourite sayings. She said that the “Wind may blow your house down, but it sheds no tears”. His father was like that wind.

“Yes Father. I am leaving now. Good bye.”

His Aunt came over to him carrying something wrapped in a chequered cloth.

“Here is some food for the journey, nothing much, just some bread with ham and cheese.” She gave him a hug which he briefly returned.

Then he quickly left the little house that he had always called home.

He walked along the quiet streets and slowly more people came out of their houses getting ready for the day. He walked up the hill towards the only tavern where his Uncle Carlos was staying. The tavern was on the northern side of the house by the main road that wound its way over the hills and valleys until if finally reached the grand city of Valencia. He had heard many tales about the city, but the only person he knew who had been there was his Uncle Carlos.

As he approached the Tavern which was set back, next to the road and had large stables next to it, he saw his Uncle standing outside smoking a cigar.

“There you are, my boy. I wasn’t sure you’d come. You could have changed your mind; I wouldn’t blame you if you did. I know how hard it is to leave the comfort of your home and family for a life of uncertainty. I did that fifteen years ago myself, when I wasn’t much older than you are now.”

“What made you leave Uncle?”

“Lots of things, I never got on so well with your Grandfather. Nor did I get on well with your Father. I was always close to my Mother and to Anna-Maria. They had the kindest hearts. The last straw was the fact that both your father and I loved the same girl. A beautiful girl, your Mother was. She had the most lovely smile. However she clearly preferred your Father to me and when they got married, I decided to make myself scarce. I didn’t exactly make my fortune in the big city, but I am no pauper either. There is plenty of opportunity there for a young man whose is willing to work. Or who knows a trick or two. Let’s head off shall we? I have bought you a pony to ride. It isn’t the best, but it will be better than walking.”

Pablo got up carefully onto the pony. It didn’t look like it was particularly young and he thought it had a bit of a mulish look about it. He was grateful that it appeared to be placid and slow. He had been brought up with boats and had very little experience with horses.

They rode out of town, his Uncle taking the lead on his more impressive black horse, followed by his pack mule, then Pablo bringing up the rear.

As they climbed the hill Pablo turned to look back. He could just about see the large white casa in the distance. He could also see a figure standing on its porch. It was too far to be able to identify who it was but he knew it was her. It was Margarita.

“I’ll come back for you one day. I promise.” Pablo whispered into the wind.

He wanted to cry, but as his grandmother said, the Wind shed’s no tears. He had to be like the wind.

The End of Part Five……

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/April/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/cur/

 

via Daily Prompt: Cur

321 Quote Me – “Expression”

Well that great Guy Called Bloke has nominated me to take part in this 321 challenge.

321 Quote Me

He is taking a break now until August and I wish him all the best. Please take this opportunity to have a look at his blog.

Image result for Expression pixabay

Photo from Pixabay

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer as and when.

So I would like to thank A Guy Called Bloke for nominating me for this challenge, for being a great Blogging buddy and for just being himself.

Topic For Today: ”Expression”

I have been cursed with one of those ‘tell all’ faces. I can’t play poker and I certainly can’t hide what I am thinking and feeling inside. I wish I could have a face that showed less expression but I’m afraid I am stuck with it. Maybe the wind changed?

Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Expression is quite a popularly discussed subject. It is often the excuse used by racists for expressing their hateful views and expecting their victims to ‘suck it up’. Freedom of expression cannot and should not apply to Hateful people who wish to incite further hatred.

But this guy (below) does have a point.

 

Image result for Expression quotes

Have a think for a moment. We all have views and opinions and that is all well and good, but do you respect and accept other people have different views to yours? Are you happy with them expressing them?

Do you have friends who vote for a different party? Or hold a very different view with regards to other issues of the day? We should be able to accept and respect others and have friends we can have an open and friendly discussion with. If you answered those questions as NO, then maybe you need to consider the fact that YOU do not believe in Freedom of Expression at all, unless it’s yours…..

I’m being rather controversial, aren’t I?

Well maybe you’d like this quote better:

Image result for Expression quotes

 

My Nominees:

Christine Bolton of:

https://poetryforhealing.com/2018/07/19/confusion/

Dee Kelly of:

Is He Following Me at the Park?

and The Rendezvous Club

https://thinkingclearly483645316.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/unconditionally-2/

Feel no pressure to take part if you don’t want to, but if you think the subject is interesting, they why not have a go?

 

All the best

🙂

 

50 Word Thursday #10 – The Lure of the Wilds

Debbie Whittam has set a challenge to write a poem or story in 50 words, or multiples of 50 up to a maximum of 250 words, inspired by a picture and include some particular lines.

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/50-word-thursday/comment-page-1/#comment-5368

Here is the picture:

19-07-18

Here are the words:

“Whatever presence it was that had been observing her as she made her way through the woods, it was now pursuing her.”

Here is my story:

The Lure of the Wilds.

She had to admit she was lost. She was on a bird watching tour of Australia and she’d wandered off from her group.

She had heard the most beautiful bird song she had ever heard and it had cast a spell on her. Captivated, she’d had to follow it.

Using binocular’s, she scanned the valley. She could feel a presence but she couldn’t see anything. She continued down the track hoping it would take her back to her group. Then she felt a shiver that ran down her back.

Whatever presence it was that had been observing her as she made her way through the woods, it was now pursuing her.

She started running despite her common sense screaming at her not to run on that uneven terrain.  Then she collapsed from a combination of exhaustion and the heat.

She became aware that suddenly the birds had gone silent. Not just the melodious birdsong she’d followed but all the birds. Then a man stepped into the clearing from the path behind her. He was wearing a uniform of dark green and a wide brimmed hat. It was the gun that alarmed her.

“Are you Mary Anderson? Your group asked me to find you. You’re safe now. I’ll guide you back.”

As she let him pull her off the ground and guide her back along the path she looked up and saw in the trees, another man with a gun and a whistle in his lips and disappointment in his eyes.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/July/2018

 

Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Welcome Home?

This story was inspired by these word prompts:

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/07/19/fowc-with-fandango-steady/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/rdp-49-welcome/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/your-daily-word-prompt-abominable-july-19th-2018/

WORD OF THE DAY: Sussurous

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/sussurous/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/three-things-challenge-19-july-2018/

Today’s things are: disco, boy, June bug

A Welcome Home?

Coming home always filled him with that mix of emotions. It was at the same time a comfortable feeling and one that made him feel anxious and on edge. He was ever full of contradictions. It was the contrasts that made life more than just two-dimensional. He always wondered what his welcome was going to be like. He had not always seen eye to eye with his folks. Particularly as he became aware that he wasn’t quite the same as his brothers. Life had become so abominable for him. Feeling like a fish out of water or a bird in the sea. He was a boy that had struggled with his own feelings and desires. It was only when he’d gone to university he’d learned there were fish that dwelt on land and birds that were happiest in the water and more importantly boys that felt the same as he did. He wasn’t alone.

At university he had lived life to the full. Immersed himself in that life of parties and fun. He loved the disco, the night life and being amongst his own kind.

Coming home had been a wrench. A return to the past. That was why he felt such mixed feelings, the comfort that usually came with coming home was tinged with that awkwardness. Would he still be welcome?

It was evening as he stepped down of the bus and walked up the path to the house. He heard the engine of the bus, that steady rhythm as it pulled away. Then the whispering of the evening breeze as it blew through the cornfields. A gentle susurrus sound, steady and constant. Then a June Bug flew into his face and he waved his hands in front of his face to get rid of it.

He walked up to the front porch. A figure in faded blue jeans and t-shirt dragging a large backpack through the dust.

He extended his hand, took a deep breath, and knocked.

The door opened and he saw his Mother peering out into the night. She was just the same, her brown hair pulled back into a neat bun, her blue eyes peering out from her batwing glasses. Her clothes, neat and clean if a bit worn. As her eyes adjusted and she saw who it was, her face lit up.

“David! It’s David everyone, he’s come home!” she exclaimed to the house.

She put her arm around him and pulled him into the light. He cried tears of relief. He was so afraid they’d shun him after they’d discovered what he was. The way his Mother hugged him close, the way he saw his brothers come out from the kitchen and smiled at him, the way his father stood up from his easy chair and pulled the pipe out of his mouth and grinned, told him he had been wrong. His family loved him after all.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/July/2018

 

321 Quote Challenge – A Smorgasbord

I have been nominated for this challenge by Laurie at Meditations in Motion.

Check out her inspiring blog and read her post below:

https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/quote-challenge-wise-old-sayings/

This challenge was created by A Guy Called Bloke:

321 Quote Me

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer as and when.

 

Topic For Today: ”Wise Old Sayings”

 

  • So Firstly, Thank you very much Laurie for nominating me for this fun challenge.

 

  • Secondly I would like to add that Wise Sayings are a bit like a Smorgasbord. There is so much great and inspiring stuff out there, but it what you choose to take from it that counts. Image result for smorgasbord

You can quote me on that.

Other quotes:

  • One head cannot hold all wisdom.      – Unknown

 

  • Plan your life like you will live forever, and live your life like you will die the next day.      – Unknown.

Image result for a fool will learn nothing from a wise man but a wise man will learn much from a fool

I would like to nominate anyone who would like to have a go at this. If you have an old saying, perhaps one that your Granny used to say, please either post about it or share it in the comments below.

Have a nice Day. 🙂 

 

Multi Word Prompt Story – The Consummate Politician.

This story was inspired by the following prompts:

Word of the Day: Enticing

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/enticing/

Sheryl’s your daily word: Lazy

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/your-daily-word-prompt-lazy-july-18th-2018/

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Ambiguous

FOWC with Fandango — Ambiguous

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Extempore

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/rdp-48-extempore/

The Haunted Wordsmith Three Things Challenge.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/three-things-challenge-18-july-2018/comment-page-1/#comment-2380

Today’s things are: grapefruit, HDMI cord, battery

The Consummate Politician

He stood up to address the crowds gathered unexpectedly around him.

He was famous for his extempore and off-the-cuff speeches and he delivered one to the masses. It was all about grasping the opportunities of education and learning. It was about supporting those people less fortunate than themselves. It was about standing strong and together to build an even better future for our children. The crowds all cheered, all hearing exactly what they wanted to hear.

What the speech lacked was any basis in fact, any solid figures or any concrete way of delivering the laudable platitudes that flowed out from that undoubtedly charismatic gentleman. His words remained suitably ambiguous.

He was the consummate politician.

Continue reading Multi Word Prompt Story – The Consummate Politician.

Pictures of New Zealand – 2006

DSC03160

Tree Ferns in the Forest.DSC03169DSC03178DSC03211DSC03229

Meeting a friend. DSC03320DSC03339DSC03353DSC03367DSC03379DSC03391DSC03395

This is the closest we got to Middle Earth. This is near to the site of Hobbiton. DSC03400DSC03466

Wellington HarbourDSC03470DSC03479

The Beehive – New Zealand’s Parliament building.DSC03495

This photograph was taken in the Botanical Gardens in Wellington and there was something magical about the way the light and the colours worked. I’ve got this picture on my wall at home.

I hope you liked these photos from my Trip to the North Island of New Zealand. That was back in 2006, it’s about time I went back and saw the South Island now. 😉

 

Three Things Challenge, 17 July 2018

Have a look at the Haunted Wordsmith’s Three Things Challenge.

Not just one word prompt, not two but THREE in one go.

I like to weave then into my stories with other word prompts.

The Haunted Wordsmith

3TC

Welcome to the Three Things Challenge!

Everyday I post three seemingly unrelated things and the challenge is to find a creative way to use those things.

This can be anything you want it to be…the point is to have fun, share, and be inspired.

To participate, simply link to this page (creating a pingback) or posting a link to your contribution in the comment section.

Remember, anything goes…just have fun!

Today’s things are: calendar, knee, jeep 

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